Giants bats wake up late to bite snakes

AT&T PARK — Wednesday night’s game started a little late, and so did the Giants’ bats.

After taking extra time to honor recent Giants milestones, San Francisco finally hurdled the Josh Collmenter brick wall with a breakout seventh inning on the way to a 5-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The ceremony for Bruce Bochy and his 1,600 win milestone, Yusmiero Petit’s 46 retired batter streak, and Tim Hudson and Jake Peavy’s 2,000 strikeout milestones all kept with the tone with the Giants’ dismantling of Arizona the night before.

But Wednesday night wouldn’t necessarily follow suit. The Giants struggled against Collmenter, though they would eventually win due to a productive seventh inning against Arizona’s relievers.

The game turned into a surprising pitchers’ duel as both Collmenter and Ryan Vogelsong pitched shutout baseball through six. Neither made it through in the seventh inning.


Photos by Godofredo Vasquez/SFBay

Vogelsong struggled early to find the strike zone, he dealt five walks and didn’t get a strikeout until the fifth inning, when he struck out the side.

In the second inning, Vogelsong gave up two walks and a single. Tim Lincecum made a brief appearance in the bullpen, seeming to scare Vogelsong straight as he immediately struck out Collmenter to end the inning. He only gave up one hit after that.

Vogelsong said Lincecum’s trip to the mound didn’t really phase him, just reminded him he wasn’t pitching well. Manager Bruce Bochy said Lincecum was just there for security reasons:

“I didn’t know if he even noticed but his pitches were getting up there and he was out of sync and you get to that point where you gotta get somebody going there in case something happens to cover your starter there … he just had a hard time getting into his rhythm there the first two innings.”

Though he didn’t allow any runs, the righty said he wasn’t at all pleased with his performance. In fact, he reflected more positively about his last start against Colorado in which he gave up eight runs in five innings.

Said Vogey of his last two starts:

“I think that it’s easier to shrug one off when it’s in Coors Field and it’s warm like it was because the ball is going to fly and you’re probably going to give up a home run here or there on a ball that shouldn’t be a home run…From a stuff standpoint, I was pretty happy with my stuff that day. I’m kind of in between right now, I’m extremely happy I didn’t give up any runs but I’m sitting here telling myself well I have a lot to do this week before I face them again on Monday.”

All in all, he deemed his night:

“One of those effectively wild deals … yeah.”

The recently unstoppable Giants offense couldn’t get going against Collmenter. Before tonight’s game, the Giants lineup was batting .222 against the righty.

Posey, who got one of the three hits Collmenter allowed, has been the only effective hitter against him with a career .727 batting average.

Gregor Blanco was impressed with the Diamondbacks’ starter:

“The way the game was going, you have to give credit to Collmenter, he was good today. Good change-up and he was locating the fastball, he was tough to hit.”

Once Collmenter left the game, the offense sprung to life.

Blanco — who followed an argument with home plate umpire Brian Gorman over a called strike by accidentally sending a foul tip into Gorman’s mask next pitch — sent a dribbling double down the first-base line to bring Hunter Pence home from first and draw first blood.

Said Blanco of the play:

“After he called that strike I was just like ‘ok, let’s get it done.’ No matter what. I was just trying to move [Pence] to second base no matter what.”

Rookie Matt Duffy, pinch hitting for reliever Jean Machi, gave the Giants a little more breathing room with a double to right field to score Blanco and make it 2-0. A wild pitch and sacrifice fly from Angel Pagan tacked on two more runs for the G-men.

An eighth inning rally gave the Giants one more, plating Sandoval who had doubled to make the score 5-0 for good measure.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves all won, keeping the standings at a standstill. San Francisco is still 2-1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the West and four games up atop in the Wild Card race.